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You have entered the realm of my mind where words play with the fabric of our existence. This is the map of my imagination: the very foundations of inspiration, musing, and thought splayed for your wandering eyes. Dive deep into the tides of these forces and experience my reality, my fantasy, my world; and if you should be so inclined, share your words with this land.

Peace and Love!

J Hart F

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I am an individual who exists in many different communities in America. Until tonight, I rarely gave this much thought beyond how I was different from what the cultural media portrayed in its stereotyping. However, tonight felt like an induction to a community that I cannot escape no matter what upbringing I had. Attending the NALEO (National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials) reception and awards dinner showed me what I was a part of.

First of all, I acknowledge myself as a writer who is attending college and striving to expand my knowledge of the world and my craft. Secondly, I have a gay man who has worked in the LGBT community to strengthen our leadership, pushed the LGBT youth to go into the world with pride, and allow myself to be an example of an exemplary gay man. Thirdly, I am a witch (to read more about this visit my other blog at ). Beyond this, I rarely designate my being as part of any other community.

The inspiration I felt today was beyond what I had expected out of an invitation to a dinner/reception for NALEO; in which I figured a few ceremonial activities would take place and I would be given the opportunity to hob-nob with elected Latinos and Latino advocates. Instead my eyes were opened up to a community which still needs strength to win the battles it has been fighting since the 1960's. I ate with activists who marched on Washington with La Raza and have been pushing for comprehensive immigration reform for as many years. These heroes have given their entire lives for a dream they felt so deeply within their souls that still plagues their life today. They fear for the generations to come, hoping and knowing what they have accomplished will better their children's children's children's lives so the opportunities available are no different from their white counterparts. This all makes what I've accomplished feel like a raindrop on the aftermath of a tidal wave picked up by a sublime hurricane washing over America.

I realized this community is my community, just as much as I'm a writer, or that I'm gay, or that I'm Wiccan. I am Latino, and this community is ready to ensure I acquire the fullest completion of my aspirations without hindrance from popular society. There is no way I can turn my back on that. No way can I neglect my own responsibility to a people who have striven with an inspiration I have felt before in the struggles I have faced.

But there's more to this sense of community. More to the word community in its essence; but I fear most of the Latino population neglect accepting this deeper sense. I was told a story at the NALEO dinner by a member of the great Salazar family of Colorado, whose origins stretch back before Colorado existed. It was a tale of the family patriarch. Unfortunately, his final years were plagued by Alzheimer's and his mental facilities deteriorated to a point where most of what was said seemed out of place. One day, he came out of his bedroom, having disappeared for several hours, holding his military uniform from when he served for the United States of America. His face serious, determined, awake, he said clearly to his family, "I want you to bury me in my uniform." The family, having been told to never argue with an Alzheimer's patient in a moment of supposed dementia, agreed to his coherent request. Several years later, the Salazar patriarch had a heart attack, and as his son was picking him up off the floor to go into the ambulance, he whispered two things: "I love you" and "Uniform."

His pride, even when his mind was lost to a disease which deteriorated all aspects of his living self, still revolved around two very distinct things: the love of his family and the love for his country.

This to me is community: the ability to distinguish oneself as part of a heritage once different from society by ethnic, religious, racial, and sexual determinants; now acknowledged only as a whole group of locally associated individuals abiding by local legislation. I don't want community to be a designation of difference to separate a minority from the social, popular, cultural majority. Community should be a whole, where the person can be proud of being the same even if his lineage, sexuality, skin color, or spirituality are different from his neighbor's. Where the desire to be buried in your uniform represents the trust, pride, belief and hope in a nation and its people.

Essentially... I believe I have a new community to inherit into my soul, my mind, my heart, and my aspirations; even though I have already been a member of it since birth. New goals were created tonight which coincide with what I believe has been placed before me; however... it means I'm going to be far busier than I foresaw anyway. I'm afraid to list everything I foresee myself doing now, but suffice it to say, I'm not going to let myself down and I won't let my people down. Any of them.

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